Divine Jet has the credentials
THE first 25 seconds in today’s Cape Premier Yearling Sales Guineas could be crucial.
Karl Neisius has only 400 metres to get Divine Jet into a decent position from his dreadful draw before Kenilworth’s horseshoe bend begins to pitch him out towards disaster and almost certain defeat.
Furthermore he has to do it without giving away unnecessary ground or using up energy that his so-far unbeaten mount will need when it really matters.
Guineas king Dean Kannemeyer (four wins in the past seven seasons) says that Divine Jet and his other two runners have peaked at just the right time “although it will be hard for Liancourt Rock and Depardieu to turn round the form with Variety Club.”
Variety Club is the form horse on Selangor running but Joey Ramsden expects an improved showing from the two stable companions who finished unplaced that day – “Silver Haven was a long way off the pace and was only doing his best work when the race was finished, and Master Mascus wasn’t sparkling beforehand. He has now turned the corner while Variety Club has done great since the Selangor.”
Nine days ago Ramsden paid R4 560 (twice the normal entry fee) to supplement the 100-1 nohoper The Balladeer who is in the same ownership as Variety Club. It is widely expected that Grant Behr will be instructed to go to the front to ensure a decent pace but, intriguingly, the gelding’s shrewd trainer does not confirm this, saying only “The Balladeer is there to make them all think!”
The danger - for the others - is that Behr will go to the front and then slow the pace. That would really put the cat among the pigeons. It certainly wouldn’t suit Princess Victoria whose brilliance was dimmed by a falsely-run race in the Avontuur Fillies Guineas. She is bidding to become the first filly to win this for 17 years and Sean Cormack’s belief in his mount is as strong as ever.
“I’m going into this with confidence,” he says. “She never dropped the bit with me last time and that means a lot, as does the way she has taken that race. She is a superstar.”
The handicappers rate her equal top at the weights with Variety Club and Silver Flyer but, even so, it was a little surprising to see her heading the market when earlier in the week. Weight of money soon saw Divine Jet overtaking her and yesterday had the pair favouritism at 3-1.
Variety Club (4-1) and Silver Flyer (9-2) come next. The latter won the Dingaans, Turffontein’s answer to the Selangor, with authority and Mike de Kock is bidding for his fourth Cape Guineas win.
Several pundits have said Gimmethegreenlight will not see out the longer straight but Justin Snaith is convinced they are wrong. “They also counted him out in the Selangor yet he almost won and he has improved since. Divine Jet is going to have to be world class to beat him and Variety Club.”